Careers rarely develop the way we plan them. Our career path often takes many twists and turns, with particular events, choices and people influencing our direction.

We asked Tom Tooher from Defence Forces to give some advice for people considering this job:

Tom Tooher

Lieutenant - Army

Defence Forces

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Tom Tooher

Look up the Defence Forces website at and talk to serving personnel. If its possible try to visit a barracks.


Realists are usually interested in 'things' - such as buildings, mechanics, equipment, tools, electronics etc. Their primary focus is dealing with these - as in building, fixing, operating or designing them. Involvement in these areas leads to high manual skills, or a fine aptitude for practical design - as found in the various forms of engineering.

Realists like to find practical solutions to problems using tools, technology and skilled work. Realists usually prefer to be active in their work environment, often do most of their work alone, and enjoy taking decisive action with a minimum amount of discussion and paperwork.
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Electrical & Electronic Engineering

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Electrical & Electronic Engineering

The discovery of electricity and the continuous developments surrounding how we can use it have had an enormous impact on our world and on the career opportunities in this sector. As you read this on your computer it is worth taking the time to consider how it is possible to display the text you are reading on screen by ‘playing’ with the movements of atomic particles!

This is just one of the many results of the years of work by both Electrical Engineers (involved in the supply of electricity) and Electronic Engineers (converting this electricity into endless varieties of ‘gadgets’).

It is not unusual for engineers to move career from one branch of engineering to another. Much of the work that engineers engage in is learned on the job. Their background of study and experience gives them the ability to analyse problems properly and provide technical solutions. For this reason, they find that they can adapt to working in different type of industries.

Many engineers move into management roles within 10 years of working as engineers. Continuing education is important for electrical and electronics engineers. Engineers who fail to keep up with the rapid changes in technology are more likely to be passed over for advancement.

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Electrical Engineering header image

Electrical engineers deal with large-scale electrical systems such as power transmission and motor control. They create and design products using scientific principles, combined with natural curiosity, problem solving and innovation.

An electrical engineer can be employed in the design and construction of power lines, in the control and management of power stations, or in the design and installation of electrical systems and machinery, such as transformers, electric motors and power electronics. 

Electrical engineers will play an important role in the future development of a sustainable environment. There are a wide range of challenging paths available to an Engineer, Technologist or Technician. Career opportunities include:
  • Industrial research and development labs
  • Energy supply corporations
  • Software and services companies
  • Civil service
  • Technical monitoring agencies
  • Research institutes and educational institutions

Electrical Engineering graduates are found in such fields as computer engineering, energy engineering, transport engineering, communications engineering and media.

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Electronic engineering involves the design and testing of electronic circuits that use the electronic properties of components such as resistors, capacitors, inductors,
diodes and transistors to achieve a particular functionality.

Electronic engineers design, develop, research, test and supervise the manufacture of electrical and electronic equipment. They play a key role in producing new innovations in household equipment, telecommunications equipment such as the mobile phone, PC, i-Pod and digital cameras.

Many Electronic engineers work in areas closely related to computers such as medical devices, artificial intelligence and robotics. The focus of their work is often on designing new products, maintaining and testing electronic equipment and coming up with technical solutions to solve operating problems. Their work can also involve estimating the time and cost of engineering projects. 

Electronic engineering Technicians support engineers in the research, design, development and maintenance of electronic equipment or products. Their work will usually be concerned with the repairs and maintenance of products from digital devices, mobile telephones and personal computers to satellite tracking systems. There are also opportunities in technical sales and technical publications for technicians.
There is evidence of a current shortage of engineering technicians available to industry because the majority of those who qualify at technician level go on to degree level.

Electronic engineering is also a significant growth area both in Ireland and abroad. Career opportunities open to electronic engineers, technologists or technicians in this discipline can be found with:

  • Electronic component manufacturers
  • Telecommunications companies and corporations
  • Electrical power utility companies
  • Research and education
  • Civil Service and government
  • Radio and television service providers

Micro and Nanoelectronics

Microelectronics and Nanoelectronics, including semi-conductors, are key players in the rapidly changing ICT sector. Every eighteen months, the speed of computer processors doubles. Integrated Circuit (IC) Technology has evolved so quickly that the processors in smartphones are now more powerful than processors in desktop computers were a few years ago.

Microelectronics and Nanoelectronics are also at the core of the development of green energy wind turbines, energy-aware data centres, medical devices, and a myriad of other products and devices across the IT, telecommunications and many other industry sectors, as well as being central to Cloud computing, Mobility, and IoT.

The rapid developments in micro and nanoelectronics increase demand for a range of engineers with strong core engineering skills, alongside software development skills, to ensure the development of applications and solutions to enable the technologies to work.

Useful Career Sheets from STEPS to Engineering [pdf files]
Engineering Life
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Total Records: 6
Full Address
Phone Number
Clinical Engineering Dept., Naas General Hospital, Co. Kildare
(045) 843 116
2 - 5 Warrington Place, Dublin 2
(01) 644 1200
22, Clyde Road, Ballsbridge, Dublin, 4.
(01) 665 1300
(01) 607 3042
TEEU, 6 Gardiner Row, Dublin 1
(01) 874 7047
Greystones, Co. Wicklow, Ireland

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